We will look at a fairly expensive brand of dog food and break it down to see what you are actually getting and your dog is eating. I believe when you can understand the basics it becomes so much easier to quickly look at a food and determine if it is a good value and good nutrition. So lets start with this food-
ROYAL CANIN X-SMALL adult dry dog food-34.00 for a 14 lb bag-$2.42 a pound
1)Brewers rice, 2)chicken meal, 3)corn, 4)chicken fat, 5)corn gluten meal, 6)wheat gluten, 7)natural flavors,8) dried chicory root, 9)vegetable oil, 10)psyllium seed husk, 11)brewers dried yeast, 12)fish oil, potassium chloride, calcium sulfate, salt, 13)fructooligosaccharides, 14)sodium tripolyphosphate, 15)L-tyrosine, 16)DL-methionine, L-arginine, L-lysine, monosodium phosphate, magnesium oxide, choline chloride, taurine,18) vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), biotin, D-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin A acetate, niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], trace minerals (zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), L-carnitine, rosemary extract, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and citric acid
The very first ingredient is rice. Rice on its own has a small amount of nutritional value but my concern these days is the arsenic in rice. Humans have been warned to decrease their intake of rice due to high arsenic contained in the grain itself, picked up from the soil it was grown in. Since this does not tell us where they got their rice and American grown rice is the highest in arsenic it becomes a big concern and especially if this is your dogs main diet.
The 2nd is chicken meal. This is the description from WIKIPEDIA-Chicken meal, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), is the dry rendered product from a combination of clean chicken flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from whole carcasses of chicken, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails. A meal in general is “an ingredient which has been ground or otherwise reduced in particle size.”
Chicken meal is ground up chicken meat that has been carefully dried to a moisture level of 10%. The protein content is 65%and the fat level is 12%. Regular chicken contains about 70% water with 18% protein and 5% fat. To create chicken meal, ingredients are placed into large vats and cooked. This rendering process not only separates fat and removes water to create a concentrated protein product, it also kills bacteria, viruses, parasites and other organisms. Because meat can be rid of infectious agents through the rendering process, “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased or disabled) are allowable chicken meal ingredients. While not always present, the possible inclusion of these ingredients makes chicken meal always considered unfit for human consumption.
Did you read the part about dead, dying, diseased chickens? Yes, anything of any quality could be in this meal. So your second ingredient is a concentrated meat source and it is basically the only meat source we will see again.
#3 and #5 both corn, the other majority of what this bag is made up of. Along with the wheat gluten in this bag , its a hefty dose of allergy possibilities. Corn again has a high glycemic index which means it converts to sugar quickly which just as in humans means a bigger waistline. So in addition to providing very little protein source this will also make a dog fat because of the majority of make up in starches.
Next #13, frutoolligosaccharides- what are they you ask? Well my favorite online source WIKIPEDIA says-
Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) also sometimes called oligofructose or oligofructan, are oligosaccharide fructans, used as an alternative sweetener. FOS exhibits sweetness levels between 30 and 50 percent of sugar in commercially prepared syrups. It occurs naturally, and its commercial use emerged in the 1980s in response to consumer demand for healthier and calorie-reduced foods.
Now that you see what they are do you think your dog needs sweeter in his food?
Chicory root is placed there for INULIN which is a soluble fiber but also used as a prebiotic to promote healthy bacteria in the gut.
Sodium tripolyphosphate, is a preservative, and fairly high on the list.
#4-chicken fat is actually supposedly nutritious and a good addition to food and helps to add to the flavor which they also did in #7.
The remainder of ingredients are vitamins and minerals because there are no vegetables or many ingredients that would add vitamins or minerals to this kibble.
My feeling about this food is if you like a fat dog with the possibilities for allergies for almost $2.50 a pound and questionable nutrition this is the food for you.
I think for the money this alternative food is a better value all around as well as much more nutritious-
CASTOR & POLLUX natural ultra mix grain free duck, sweet potatoes & peas entree adult dog food-30b bag for $49.99 which is $1.66 a pound
DEBONED DUCK, TURKEY MEAL, LAMB MEAL, SALMON MEAL (SOURCE OF OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS), SWEET POTATO, PEAS, POTATO, DUCK FAT (PRESERVED WITH MIXED TOCOPHEROLS), POTATO PROTEIN, PEA PROTEIN, NATURAL FLAVOR, BANANAS, CARROTS, APPLES, CRANBERRIES, BLUEBERRIES, ORGANIC ALFALFA, SALMON OIL, MINERALS (SALT, ZINC AMINO ACID COMPLEX, ZINC SULFATE, IRON AMINO ACID COMPLEX, MANGANESE AMINO ACID COMPLEX, COPPER AMINO ACID COMPLEX, POTASSIUM IODIDE, COBALT AMINO ACID COMPLEX, SODIUM SELENITE), VITAMINS (CHOLINE CHLORIDE, VITAMIN E SUPPLEMENT, VITAMIN A SUPPLEMENT, VITAMIN B12 SUPPLEMENT, D-CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, VITAMIN D3, NIACIN, RIBOFLAVIN SUPPLEMENT, BIOTIN, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, FOLIC ACID, THIAMINE MONONITRATE), DRIED CHICORY ROOT, YUCCA SCHIDIGERA EXTRACT, DRIED LACTOBACILLUS PLANTARUM FERMENTATION PRODUCT, DRIED LACTOBACILLUS CASEI FERMENTATION PRODUCT, DRIED ENTEROCOCCUS FAECIUM FERMENTATION PRODUCT, DRIED LACTOBACILLUS ACIDOPHILUS FERMENTATION PRODUCT, ROSEMARY EXTRACT.
Again, Be well and may your pets live well!